Updating ancient bass carriers for 21st century drums.

Today, being band director meant being a machinist. So I wasn’t actually a machinist, but boring out new holes in these bass harnesses would have been much easier with a drill press.

We made due with cobalt, countersink drill bits, and our trusty 18v cordless DeWalt. Too bad we mathed wrong. Half of 5 1/2 inches is often times not 2 1/4 inches. Lesson: measure and calculate twice, but also use a visual check to make sure things are aligned and make sense. Cobalt bits go through aluminum like a silver coin through ice, but it still takes a while to redrill so many holes.

Rebuilding this bass carrier to work with our new Tama drums from Lone Star Percussion was quite a feat.

The carrier mounts only sit 5.5 inches apart, significantly closer together than on our old Pearls. What made it more difficult is that the attachment point overlaps with the shoulder bars, requiring a countersunk screw. The easiest part was getting a 3/4 in countersink bit. Finding the hardware components proved more difficult.

After a few trips to several hardware stores, we finally found the 1/2 in. countersunk 5/16-18 hex screw and a matching coupler at a local hardware store. Unfortunately, no one carried a 2 in. J-hook, do we had to buy some eye bolts, cut out a section, and shorten it with a hack saw. But it’s finally done.

Or so we thought. In the process of redoing our 5 carriers, we misplaced a set of carriage bolts. Had to pick up a pair along with some locking nuts before the job could be finished.

Maybe it’s time to organize all of the little bits of hardware floating around our band room.

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